Probably known better as KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken announced, today, a plan to be completely antibiotic-free by the end of 2018. Basically, KFC US will only buy its chicken from farms which raises its animals without antibiotics [which would normally be important to human medicine]. In an officials statement, the KFC Corporation says this marks the very first time a major national quick service chain restaurant in the United States has committed to such a measure: antibiotic free chicken-on-the-bone and boneless chicken.
The KFC statement includes: “By the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by KFC in the U.S. will be raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. This includes our chicken tenders and popcorn chicken; but we’re especially proud to be the first major chicken chain to extend this commitment to our bone-in chicken.”
More specifically, KFC US president and chief concept officer Keven Hochman notes, “We’re constantly working to meet the changing preferences of our customers, while ensuring we deliver on the value they expect from KFC. Offering chicken raised without medically important antibiotics is the next step in that journey.”
He goes on to say, “Making this change was complex and took a lot of planning. It required close collaboration with more than 2,000 farms, most of them family-owned and managed, in more than a dozen US states where they raise our chickens.”
Accordingly, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) food policy advocate Lena Brook warrants that this KFC policy will, in fact, be a game-changer for the whole of the fast food industry as well as public health. She also notes that this is basically just the market responding to consumer demand for better meat. It is a commitment, she adds, from the country’s “most iconic fast food chicken chain” that will have a much larger impact over the way birds are raised in the United States as well as an impact over the growing epidemic of drug-resistant infections.
US Public Interest Research Group antibiotics program director, Matthew Wellington, agrees that this policy could have “lasting effects on the way these life-saving medicines are used in the chicken industry.”
He adds that this announcement is definitely a big win for anyone who might, someday, depend on antibiotics as a means to sustain life.